YSA Budget Allocations from Stake

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
sgcurtis-p40
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YSA Budget Allocations from Stake

Postby sgcurtis-p40 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:04 pm

I'm interested in hearing how other stakes with YSA units are managing the budget allocations. In our stake, we have 1 YSA unit that receives 100% of the stake YSA budget allocation. (In effect, the stake "sweeps" 100% of any YSA $$ from the wards and sends it to this unit.) This is very straightfoward and aligns the money allocated with the intended recipients. Yes, there are (active) YSAs that do not attend the YSA unit, but they are minimal and the wards don't plan YSA activities because there's a ward for that.

This ward also receives the standard allocation based on sacrament meeting attendance in the same proportion as the other wards in the stake.

My concern is that this ward is receiving a disproportionate amount of $$ from the stake when compared to their membership. For example, they may receive $600 in a quarter for their General Budget, but receive an additional $1,200 for the YSA portion, effectively doubling what a ward with similar attendance might receive (other wards also receive YM/YW/Primary).

I grant that YSA programs are important and their activities will generally be more frequent and more $$, but this seems a little bit out of alignment. The nature of the activities they are able to afford resembles the "good old days" pre-1989. For those of you who were YM/YW before the new budget guidelines, you know what I'm talking about.

This is the way the funds have been handled in the stake for as long as I know, and it's always good to take a look from time to time and ask "why did we do it that way?" "do those reasons still apply?" and "can we bless more members' lives if we use these resources differently?"

What are some of you other stake clerks doing out there? Should I recommend that we apply a different general allocation to the YSA unit than others, e.g., only 25% instead of 75%?

Thanks for any thoughts you may have.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:29 pm

First off, I sure you're aware of it, but for completeness, it has to be pointed out that this is a Stake President's prerogative.

That said, I'd like to try another tact. For a moment, let's suppose that each unit received 100% of the YSA funds that results from that unit's quarterly report. How big a difference would that make from how things are done now? The YSA funding is computed from the % of YSA in the ward and the % of attendance. Since the YSA ward is 100% of YSA, it's still going to get a sizable chunk of the incoming YSA funds. The reason I ask this is that you may only be talking about a few hundred dollars of difference - and no difference in your underlying concern.

To ask another question, what other purpose should "YSA" funds be put to, if not to the YSA? From your description, it appears that the other wards are not active and YSA ward is fulfilling the role of the stake YSA.

I can understand the concern over lavish and popular, yet spiritually empty activities. That's something the local leaders will have to deal with.

If I were in your stake, my concern would be that the SA are not ignored. They don't get a budget allocation from CHQ. And because the numbers are so small, if there's no organization at the stake level, there isn't the critical mass to do anything. I know that's off the track of what you were asking, but that's my 2¢.

You may want to consider a "middle singles" program to cover the YSA that have "aged out" of the YSA program. It's not anything that you'll find in the handbook, but it is still within the leader's prerogative.
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sgcurtis-p40
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Postby sgcurtis-p40 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:27 pm

At this point, I'm determing what (if any) recommendations to submit to the stake president. The current method goes back to a previous stake president, including the "launch" of the separate YSA funding. I've been reviewing all of our procedures in the context of broader "what activities do we want to have and how are we going to pay for them?" conversations. The end result may be no action at all.

I agree on the "what other purpose" with the YSA funds. There actually is a bit of difference due to the sweep, but it's all intended for YSA and that ward is the YSA center of the stake. I do not intend to change that portion of the allocation.

You raise an interesting point with the "middle singles," and this group has indeed recently received some interest in our stake. Perhaps I'll mention it in the near future.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:16 am

I am in a stake that is 100% YSA, so take this for what it's worth. I just wanted to point out that budget allocation for YSAs is the standard allocation based on sacrament meeting attendance - the same as every other ward in your stake - plus an additional allocation just for the percentage of YSA members in the ward. Similar increases are made for primary, and YM/YW age groups as well, although in varying amounts.

The issue of why they get more would have to be taken up with CHQ since they are the ones allocating in that fashion. However, as was pointed out, ultimately it is up to the stake president.

That being said, we allocate using a formula that

  1. Gives each ward a base amount (say for standard operating costs, regardless of ward size)
  2. Gives the stake a fixed amount
  3. Distributes the balance out to the wards in percentages based on the projected average of their sacrament meeting attendance and ward size.
Again, we are all YSA wards, so we make no special adjustments for one ward. I can see the challenge of having one exception to your formula.

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:57 am

Our stake budgets for YSA, "mid-singles" (abt 30-40), and "elite" singles (generally retired - deceased (almost)). The 40 somethings & 50 somethings fend for themselves & fund their own activities. We have 2 YSA wards & a hybrid family / mid-singles ward.

Note that the inactive YSA records stay in the home (family) ward. As a result, the people are easier to loose track of & they're less likely to be contacted by people their age doing things that they're interested in doing.

Not all "mid-singles" opt to attend the hybrid ward. Some are active in their family wards, and others are inactive. Again, the wards need to remember to reach out.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:58 am

scion wrote:Note that the inactive YSA records stay in the home (family) ward. As a result, the people are easier to loose track of & they're less likely to be contacted by people their age doing things that they're interested in doing.

Not all "mid-singles" opt to attend the hybrid ward. Some are active in their family wards, and others are inactive. Again, the wards need to remember to reach out.


Just a final comment then on how you receive money for YSA members. As I understand it, everything is based off of your percent sacrament attendance. It is assumed (probably to just make things logistically simpler) that a ward has the same percent attendance in primary, YM/YW and YSA as they have in sacrament meeting (attendance/total membership). If attendance is 50% in sacrament meeting, then you only get additional budget allocation for 50% of the YSAs on your ward roster. So if a ward has a disproportionately higher inactivity rate in its YSAs than it's overall membership, they are receiving more money for their YSAs than they probably should. On the other hand, if the YSAs are more active overall than the general ward membership, that unit is receiving less money for the YSAs than they probably should get.

Freedom55
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Postby Freedom55 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:24 pm

Hi sgcurtis,

In our stake the individual wards do very little in the way of YSA activities (due to small YSA populations in each ward), so the stake retains all of the YSA funds and covers all of the stake YSA activities. A little different from your stake but it works well for us.


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